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Northern Ireland v Norway - Story of the match

Northern Ireland reached the double-figure mark in World Cup qualification points and retained second spot in Group C with a pair of first-half goals against Norway.

A 2-0 victory moved Michael O'Neill's play-off seeking side onto 10 points at the halfway stage and extended their unbeaten run at Windsor Park to eight competitive games.

Jamie Ward's goal after 87 seconds set them on their way and QPR's Conor Washington fired in a third international goal, all of which have come in his three Belfast starts, in the 32nd minute.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Jamie Ward! Conor Washington! 2️nd place in @FIFAWorldCup Qualifying Group! WHAT A WIN! #GAWA #DareToDream #NIRNOR #GetIn " - The Northern Ireland Football Association (@OfficialIrishFA) are suitably proud of their side.

STAR MAN

Steven Davis. Several of Michael O'Neill's players turned in outstanding performances, but the Southampton player played a true captain's role for his country. He turned in a top-class midfield display and was always at the heart of the action. Davis played the decisive, defence-splitting pass for Conor Washington to put his side 2-0 up in the 32nd minute and was behind most of the province's best football.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH

Washington's coolly-taken strike 12 minutes before half-time gave his country a crucial two-goal cushion, but it was Jamie Ward's superb opening goal after just 87 seconds that set the tempo for the whole match. Ward's sharp finish from Chris Brunt's ball into the box put Michael O'Neill's side on the front front and lifted the Windsor Park crowd to even greater heights after it had ensured a rousing atmosphere at kick-off.

DATA POINT

Northern Ireland halted a run of five straight defeats against Norway, stretching back over 41 years, to consolidate second place behind Group C leaders Germany. In the two sides' previous three meetings Norway had scored 11 goals and conceded only one. This triumph at Windsor Park was Northern Ireland's first win against the Scandinavians since October 1975.

RATINGS

Michael McGovern: 6

Conor McLaughlin: 6

Gareth McAuley: 7

Jonny Evans: 7

Craig Cathcart: 7

Chris Brunt: 6

Oliver Norwood: 7

Steven Davis: 8

Stuart Dallas: 6

Jamie Ward: 7

Conor Washington: 7

Substitutes

Niall McGinn (on for Ward) 6

Kyle Lafferty (on for Washington) 6

Matthew Lund (on for Dallas) 6

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Northern Ireland v New Zealand (Friendly, June 2)

Norway v Czech Republic (World Cup qualifier, June 10)

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